Tony Pedregon coming to test at The Strip at LVMS Jan. 29-Feb. 1;

NHRA POWERade preseason pro team test session attracting big names


Defending NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Funny Car champion Tony Pedregon will debut his new Quaker State Pontiac at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Jan. 29-Feb. 1.  The Strip¿s third annual Drag Racing Blast-Off offers a unique opportunity: NHRA professional teams will be able to test before the 2004 season begins and their fans can see the new cars and their favorite drivers.

            Pedregon formerly drove for John Force and now is teamed with brother Cruz, also an NHRA Funny Car champion.

            ¿This is our first step with this team and we couldn¿t think of anywhere else we would rather go than Las Vegas,¿ Pedregon said.  ¿The impact of the Vegas facility is very important to what we do and I¿m glad that I can choose to test there. It only makes sense.  Quaker State is anxious to see the whole team and there¿s no better backdrop. We plan on doing photo shoots both on and off the track.

¿Vegas is a natural choice for the new team because of the incredible facility, the fact that we do two events there and the quality of the track preparation. While the climate conditions will be different than when we race there two months later, there¿s still a lot of information that we can learn that will be useful to the new team.¿

            ¿In only its third year, The Strip¿s Drag Racing Blast-off has become the most important preseason test session in professional drag racing,¿ said Chris Blair, LVMS¿ senior director of drag racing operations.  ¿We¿re very excited to host the debut of the most highly-anticipated new team in drag racing.  Quality testing conditions will be very important not only for Tony and his new team but also for many of the established operations that are debuting new cars, new crew chiefs and developing new drivers.¿

            In addition to Pedregon, teams registered to test include: 12-time NHRA Funny Car champion John Force, Eric Medlen (newest addition to the Force team), Ron Capps, Tommy Johnson Jr., Jerry Toliver, Whit Bazemore, Gary Scelzi, Gary Densham, Jim Head, K.C. Spurlock, Arley Langlo, Ashley Force (Top Alcohol Dragster) and Las Vegas' Duane Shields.

            The four-day test session is open to the public.  Adult admission is $20 per day or $50 for a four-day pass.  Children 6-12 are $6 per day or $12 for a four-day pass.


Wednesday, Jan. 28

Pit parking: Noon ¿ 5 p.m.


Thursday, Jan. 29

Credential sales, pit parking, tech inspection: 9 a.m. ¿ 4 p.m.

Testing:  Noon ¿ 5 p.m. (Staging lanes closed at 4:30 p.m.)


Friday, Jan. 30

Credential sales, pit parking, tech inspection:  7 a.m. ¿ 4 p.m.

Testing:  8 a.m. ¿ 5 p.m. (Staging lanes closed at 4:30 p.m.)


Saturday, Jan. 31

Credential sales, pit parking, tech inspection:  7 a.m. ¿ 4 p.m.

Testing:  8 a.m. ¿ 4:30 p.m. (Staging lanes closed at 4:30 p.m.)


Sunday, February 1

Credential sales, pit parking, tech inspection:  7 a.m. ¿ Noon.

Testing:  8 a.m. ¿ 4 p.m. (Staging lanes closed at 3:30 p.m.)